Major in Government and International Politics
The Bachelor of Arts in Government and International Politics degree program at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government is ideal for students who are interested in a career path in political science, international relations, public service, law, campaigns, or research. As a student in the program, you will learn to critically examine political issues, prominent actors, and processes in government, foreign policy, and international affairs. As governments and politics around the world respond to the rapid advancement of technology, this degree program equips students to face new challenges boldly and effectively.
Government and International Politics major degree requirements: 43 credits, including five core courses, eight field study courses, and a senior seminar.
Optional concentrations available in:
As a student in the Government and International Politics major, you will have the opportunity to deepen your knowledge through one of the following concentrations (browse our full list of concentrations here):
- AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS AND PROCESSES
- COMPARATIVE POLITICS
- INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY
- INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
- LAW, PHILOSOPHY AND GOVERNANCE
- POLITICAL ANALYSIS
- POLITICAL BEHAVIOR AND IDENTITY POLITICS
- PUBLIC POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION
"I've been incredibly fortunate to work with bright students and talented faculty in my days at Mason. I would like to do something that's meaningful, maybe in international development." —Josephine Neulen, BA in Government and International Politics '18
"The greater impact [of my advocacy] is showing people that there's always something they can do. I'm passionate—my purpose was always to make a difference. I'm doing something I love, and I'm doing something for the greater future of my country." —Yasser Aburdene Marcos, BA in Government and International Politics '19
"The [program] here at Mason is really great because it's so flexible. Students are exposed to different areas from international and comparative politics to public administration." —Lena Nour, BA in Government and International Politics '16
“The program at Mason just simply made sense. With D.C. in our backyard, the opportunities are endless. Research at the Schar School is abundant, and our faculty does the best at trying to connect students in fields they are interested in!” —Jenna Pan, BA in Government and International Politics student
“Having the ability to take internships for credit while still taking classes gave me the chance to get my degree a year early while also setting me up as a competitive candidate post-graduation.” —Shannon Glesing, BA in Government and International Politics student
EARN A DEGREE DESIGNED FOR TOMORROW'S LEADERS
With George Mason University's prime location in the Washington, D.C. area, Schar School students gain access to world-class scholars and practitioners in the fields of political science and international relations. They have extensive experience providing counsel, advice, and instruction to policymakers in Washington, D.C. and beyond. As a student in their classes, you can gain insight into the most pressing issues and innovative approaches to political research and analysis, and get connections to “boots on the ground” policymakers.
First and foremost, however, the Schar School faculty members are committed to quality teaching. As a result, you will get to know your professors here and form mentoring relationships with them. That will help you do better in class, make wise decisions about internships and careers, and glean wisdom to be successful in life.
As a Government and International Politics graduate, you will also have access to 16,000 fellow Schar School alumni who have the careers you want, who work as leaders for the organizations you want to work for, and with whom you can network and develop relationships. With Washington, D.C. located next door, Mason students regularly intern and extern during the academic semesters, gaining real-world experience to build a professional network and valuable skills. Schar School undergraduate students land internships in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, including:
- Booz Allen Hamilton
- Capitol Hill
- Central Intelligence Agency
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Foreign Service Institute
- Middle East Institute
- National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism
- Law firms
- Nonprofit organizations
- Lobbying groups
- U.S. Department of State
- U.S. Department of Commerce
- U.S. Department of Defense
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
THE SCHAR SCHOOL DIFFERENCE
During the annual Mason Lobbies Day, undergraduate students took meetings with state representatives and staff to advocate for various issues facing the Commonwealth's higher education system.
Josephine Neulen has a contract to turn her undergraduate research project on "Populism and Right Wing Extremism in Europe" into a book.
Mason students met with Susan Rice and David Petraeus in a private discussion, which afforded students one-on-one time to address civility in public discourse and career paths.
The Schar School's Undergraduate Research Assistant Program (URAP) brings semester-long projects undertaken by Schar School undergraduate students together.